Publication Details

C. Young, J. C. Craig, K. Clapham, S. Banks & A. Williamson, "The prevalence and protective factors for resilience in adolescent Aboriginal Australians living in urban areas: a cross-sectional study", Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 43 1 (2019) 8-14.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and determine protective factors for resilience in urban Aboriginal adolescents. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data was collected from 119 Aboriginal adolescents participating in the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH). Resilience was defined as having 'low-risk' Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores on the total difficulties (range: 0-40) or the prosocial scale (range: 0-10). Results: Most adolescents scored in the low-risk range of the total difficulties (n=85, 73%) and prosocial scales (101, 86%). Family encouragement to attend school was associated with a 4.3-point reduction in total difficulties scores (95%CI, 0.22-8.3). Having someone to talk to if there was a problem and regular strenuous exercise were associated with higher scores on the prosocial behaviour scale, increasing scores by 1.2 (95%CI, 0.45-2.0) and 1.3 (95%CI, 0.26-2.3) points, respectively. Conclusions: Most adolescents in SEARCH displayed resilience. Resilience was associated with nurturing family environments, social support and regular exercise. Implications for public health: Our data accords with previous research that demonstrates resilience, but also a higher prevalence of emotional and behaviour problems among Aboriginal youth. Supporting Aboriginal young people to build resilience may promote better mental health outcomes leading to important public health benefits.



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